Note: This review is from the 2017 Fringe

Returning to the Fringe for a second year, duo Giants bring their unique sketch comedy back to The Pleasance Courtyard with new set, For an Hour. Although combined of various different scenes and characters, the entire show is autobiographical. It charts Will Hislop and Barney Fishwick’s friendship, cleverly using their childhood imaginary Eurovision runner-up duo Fjord, to bookend the chronicle. We experience school years through the eyes of two senior boys presenting a school talent show, as well as Hislop and Fishwick’s mothers – each actor playing the mother of the other and a brilliant send-up that the audience completely engages with. The comical narrative also focuses on the ascension of Fishwick and his thespian aspirations while hilariously mocking Hislop’s numerous supporting roles in plays and musicals, where he is always cast as an inanimate object.

From the opening Eurovision rave, it is clear that Giants are completely comfortable in front of the audience and with their material. And that’s because the material is magic. Every sketch is meticulously written and the smart, often unexpected jokes land perfectly every time. The duo aren’t afraid to use their physicality either, whether it’s high-fiving audience members, fainting dramatically or dancing seductively. But it’s never annoying or desperate. Everyone in the room has already become fond of the two, embracing every gag and sketch thrown at us.

It is perhaps the sense of their genuine friendship that aids all of this. They work in utter synchronicity throughout – even during unscripted banter and audience interaction – and connect easily with the crowd through their warmth and charm. What’s most surprising is that this joy of a show is still limited to the Pleasance Courtyard’s tiny Attic venue, as the duo’s outstanding talent has already surpassed this modest space. Expect Giants to become gigantic and explode into a much more accommodating sphere next August.